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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to prevent India from carrying out its 'criminal colonial project' to convert the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir's Muslim majority into a minority.

In a letter addressed to UNSC president, the foreign minister said under the UN resolutions, it is the Council's direct responsibility to stop India from the illegal act in the occupied territories.

He drew the UNSC chief's attention to highly concerning developments in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K), grave human rights violations, illegal demographic changes and escalating threats to peace and security.

Since India's illegal annexation of Kashmir on 5 August 2019, Qureshi added that New Delhi has been implementing a well-planned strategy of military occupation, land confiscation, and creation of alien settlements in the disputed territory.

He said the Indian government has issued more than two million 'domiciles' to non-Kashmiri settlers, and simplified the procedures to grant a domicile within 15 days.

He added that Indian occupation forces have been permitted to designate certain lands as 'strategic areas' and bring them under their use for 'development' purposes, enabling them to construct more cantonments and military colonies to settle serving and retired Indian military officials in Kashmir.

The foreign minister further wrote to the president of the UNSC that the Indian military has already seized 53,353 hectares of prime forest, agricultural and commercial land in Kashmir under the guise of 'national security.'

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020